Saturday, July 25, 2020

Army slams NPA rebels for ‘violating’ anti-terror law

From the Panay News (Jul 25, 2020): Army slams NPA rebels for ‘violating’ anti-terror law (BY DOMINIQUE GABRIEL BAÑAGA)

“We will not allow the rebels to sow fear,” assures Colonel Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the Philippine Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade. “We will not allow the rebels to sow fear,” assures Colonel Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the Philippine Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade. “We will not allow the rebels to sow fear,” assures Colonel Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the Philippine Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade. PNA PHOTO

BACOLOD City – The Philippine Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade (303IB) based in the town of Murcia, Negros Occidental denounced the New People’s Army (NPA) for supposedly violating the controversial Republic Act (RA) No. 11479, or the Anti–Terrorism Act of 2020.

Colonel Inocencio Pasaporte, 303IB commander, said a series of shooting incidents staged by NPA insurgents in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental resulted to the deaths of several civilians.

These killings and use of indiscriminate force in armed conflict, according to Pasaporte, were direct violations to the international human law.

He also slammed the rebels for violating the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.

“We deployed our troops to conduct pursuit operations against NPAs together with our counterparts in the [Philippine National Police],” Pasaporte said.

The top Army official assured that government forces in Negros Island are in control of the situation. “We will not allow the rebels to sow fear to the communities despite the crisis brought by coronavirus disease 2019,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this month signed the anti-terror law despite opposition from various sectors over some the provisions that allegedly violate human rights.

RA 11479 is being questioned even by those from the legal sector and the academe over some of the alleged provisions that violate the 1987 Constitution, especially on the Bill of Rights.

At least 10 petitions have already been filed before the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the Anti-Terror Law./

104 families of former NPAs receive food aid in Bukidnon

From the Manila Bulletin (Jul 25, 2020): 104 families of former NPAs receive food aid in Bukidnon (By Mike Crismundo)

CAMP BANCASI, Butuan City – Amidst the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, more than 100 families of former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels received food aid in the highland areas of Kasilaan and Salumayag in Barangay Halapitan, San Fernando town, Bukidnon province.

Along with the workers of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Army’s 88th Infantry Battalion (88th IB) handed over the food packs to the former NPA families at the headquarters of the 88th IB at Purok 10, South Poblacion, Maramag, Bukidnon. (88th IB photo / Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

Along with the workers of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Army’s 88th Infantry Battalion (88th IB) handed over the food packs to the former NPA families at the headquarters of the 88th IB at Purok 10, South Poblacion, Maramag, Bukidnon, 88th IB Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer Capt. Norven Jay Garcia told The Manila Bulletin on Friday afternoon.

The activity was attended by DSWD 10 Regional Director Mari-Flor A. Dollaga-Libang, 403rd Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Ferdinand T. Barandon and 88th IB commander Lt. Col. Franklin F. Fabic.

“The recipients of this assistance were indigenous peoples belonging to Manobo Tribe in Southern Bukidnon,” Garcia said.

Their community was cleared from Communist terrorist influence by the 88th IB through the Community Support Program (CSP) last year, the 88th IB CMO officer said.

Currently, a Mobile Community Support Sustainment Team (MCSST) of 88th IB was deployed in the area after the clearing to sustain the efforts and programs of the government and to ensure the resurgence of NPA terrorists in the area will be prevented.

“We thank the DSWD, the military, and the government that even though we used to be their opponents, they are still there and trust us. Thank you so much for the tireless support and assistance provided by the government,” Garcia said, quoting a former NPA rebel.

“Bringing the government closer to the people is the main objective of this activity. We are here, together with our soldiers, to help you. All we want is for you to have a peaceful and productive community. We are hoping for your support and cooperation for us to achieve this objective,” Dollaga-Libang also said.

“We thank our DSWD Region 10 for being our close partner in delivering government services in conflict-affected areas. Reaching out to our IP communities here in Southern Bukidnon is indeed helpful in achieving sustainable peace and productive society in the province,” Barandon also said.

NDF: Terrrrrible, Bok!

Propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (Jul 24, 2020): Terrrrrible, Bok!

Para kay Fidel Agcaoili

NDFP legal counsel Atty. Edre Olalia presents records of human rights violations committed by government troops during the third round of talks in Rome in January 2017.

Edre U. Olalia
Legal Consultant
NDFP Negotiating Panel

Ep is a huge loss. He was always ahead of his time. Always on the rush as if there is no tomorrow.

And uncannily thoughtful, always way ahead of everybody to greet you on your birthday.

He can be exacting and quite impatient. And can be driven you should see his alimango face and cracking voice in righteous anger.

But Pide is so human, humorous and humble. And adorably mean in teasing or roasting you with silly banter and repartees. No wonder he was not called Dolphy for nothing (aside from being his doppelganger when his hair was not yet vanishing).

And he cries, I assure you. Especially when he is livid with injustice. Or when a bosom kasama was bedridden.

Fidel was literally tireless, consumed and passionate about changing society for the poor and oppressed.He gave up a choice of luxurious life and lived modestly.

I have worked with him up close since 1996 in the peace negotiations and I have been infected by his thoroughness (“oc-oc-ness”), decisiveness and need for clarity of thought and analysis.

We went through a lot of trying times and triumphant moments.

He has touched so many lives and his work ethic and commitment is beyond compare.

I have lost a dear and close client, comrade and friend.

It is surreal you won’t be a dynamic and omnipresent fixture anymore in the office and in the negotiating table again, Bok.

“Terible!” Lagi ka kasi nauuna at nagmamadali.

Pahinga ka na. Malayo at masukal na ang iyong narating. Kami na tutuloy. Mahal ka namin, Boks.ATTY. EDRE OLALIA, NDFP LEGAL CONSULTANT

NDF/Sison: What is the real state of the nation?

Propaganda interview posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (Jul 23, 2020): What is the real state of the nation?

Answers of Jose Maria Sison to the Questions of the Host Anghelo Godino

1.What is the real state of the nation?

JMS: Since the last time he delivered the SONA after successfully rigging the 2019 midterm elections in order to create his supermajorities in both houses of Congress, Duterte has not only maintained but raised to a new and higher level his successes at being tyrant, traitor, mass murderer , plunderer and as a con man.

Duterte has achieved a new peak of success by taking advantage of the lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He has been able to rechannel public funds in the hundreds of billions of pesos to himself and his cronies, bankrupted the economy and his own government and sank these into deeper bankruptcy. He has been able to railroad the enactment of his law of state terrorism and is now hell-bent on using it to silence his critics and the opposition and proceed with his scheme of making a full-blown fascist dictatorship.

Duterte should celebrate his success at letting COVID-19 enter and spread in the Philippines through more than 500,000 Chinese and casino players for more than two months before providing the military solution instead of the medical solution to the contagion. He should also congratulate himself for failing to stop the contagion and for failing to fulfil his promises of providing food and cash assistance to the millions of people whom he has locked out of their means of livelihood. Greatest success of his is blaming the people as “pasaway” (undisciplined) and making them culpable for his own ruffian and plundering kind of rule and their own misery as his victims.

2. Early this January, cronies of Duterte had this campaign called “The Duterte Legacy” where it showed numbers and figures on progress under his term. For example, families lifted out from poverty, classrooms were made, etc. What is your take on this?

JMS: No amount of fake news and false numbers and figures can cover up the facts against the Duterte regime. The people are outraged by the aggravation of mass unemployment and poverty and the horrendous crimes of the Duterte tyranny. It is a regime of greed and terror. It is characterized by senseless death, destruction, despoliation and deception. At the rate he is going in using state terrorism against the people and bankrupting the economy and his own regime, there is no way that Duterte can extricate himself from the damning verdict of history on his colossal crimes.

The Duterte legacy is a criminal record of treason and selling out the national sovereignty and national patrimony to US and Chinese imperialism, tyranny and state terrorism against the people, mass murder of 30,000 poor people to make supreme the Duterte drug syndicate and flood the country with more illegal drugs, an all-out war to preserve the oligarchy of the big compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists, the biggest plunder in the quickest time to bankrupt the economy and the government, the absolution of his biggest plundering predecessors and current accomplices in corruption, the highest priority given to military overspending and corruption at the expense of public health, education and other social services and the proven falsity of promises of being “Left” and “socialist”, bringing about peace, ending endo and improving the lot of the workers, land reform and independent foreign policy.

3. Also I know for sure we will also be hearing a lot from Duterte on his SONA about the revolutionary CPP, NDFP, and NPA. Why do you think Duterte is putting all the blame on these groups instead of focusing on solving COVID-19 and providing social care?

JMS: The more Duterte attacks the revolutionary forces of the people, the CPP, NPA and NDFP, the more he unwittingly stresses the justness of the revolutionary cause of the people’s struggle for national and social liberation and the more he exposes the traitorous, tyrannical, murderous, plundering and deceptive character of his counterrevolutionary regime. Duterte keeps on attacking the revolutionary forces and labelling them as terrorists in order to rationalize his policy and law of state terrorism against all social activists, critics and opposition to his regime. He is using red-tagging to silence the just demands, criticisms and protests of the people. He is hell-bent on using the law of state terrorism to arrest, torture, murder and dispossess all the people he considers as opposed to his regime.

4. What can the Filipino activists here in Europe do to help the kasamas in the Philippines?

JMS: The Filipino activists should do everything within their individual and organized capabilities to expose the crimes of the Duterte regime, express support for the Filipino people in the motherland to oust this evil regime, send any possible moral and concrete support to the people most in need through partner organizations in the Philippines and seek the widest possible support from host peoples and migrants from other countries.

It is not too difficult to further expand the support of overseas Filipinos and further gain international support because the Duterte regime has become notorious for the mass murder of poor people and other grave human rights violations. In fact, complaints have been submitted to the International Criminal Court for investigation of the regime for human rights violations and crimes against humanity.

5. In Europe it is very easy to get caught up in many petit bourgeois comforts—what can we do to stay connected with the struggle in the Philippines and help our kasamas?

JMS: Overseas Filipinos work hard to earn their subsistence and save some amount to help their close relatives in the Philippines. They do not have much time and means to enjoy the high standard of living in Europe. It is the duty and task of the organized social activists to arouse, organize and mobilize their compatriots.

Arousing means learning the conditions and need of compatriots abroad and then informing and educating them about the Philippine situation and why they have been compelled to seek jobs abroad through meetings, publications, audio-visuals and cultural activities that are both enlightening and entertaining. Organizing means recruiting more members for the various types of patriotic and democratic Filipino organizations at the level of countries, cities and neighborhoods. Mobilizing means holding campaigns and activities that uphold and promote the rights and interests of the overseas Filipinos and their relatives and friends in the Philippines.

[Rolex dela Pena/EPA]

6. How do the youth and migrant struggle align with the overall struggle?

JMS: Except for the very few Filipinos who are on scholarship grants or who are children of wealthy families or who are well paid as professionals, company executives or diplomatic officials, the Filipino youth are themselves migrant workers or belong to migrant worker families who work hard for their subsistence and small savings. On the basis of class affinity, the youth and the migrant workers can be easily aligned in their struggle. Even the few Filipinos who are better off than the rest of the overseas Filipinos can be approached and won over on the the basis of patriotism and enlightened concern for the suffering of the Filipino people in an unjust ruling system and under a regime as evil as the Duterte regime.

7. Do you think Duterte has ever done good with his term?

JMS: The crimes of Duterte against the entire Filipino people are so grave that these are unpardonable and far outweigh any claim that he has done any good in whatever regard. It is a matter of fact that the worst of criminals can be terribly unkind to other people but can also be kind to their own families or girlfriends, their criminal accomplices, cronies and pet animals. But such kindness cannot offset the grave crimes.

Before and in the early weeks of his presidency, Duterte pretended to be a “Left” and “socialist” friend of the revolutionary movement and that he wanted peace. But he was making a pretense and doing an act of deception. He released a few political prisoners only to put aside his promise to release all political prisoners and then he ordered the arrest of the few released political prisoners when he could not make the NDFP capitulate in the peace negotiations. He appointed a few progressives to his cabinet and he had them kicked out by his agents in Congress when he could not obtain the capitulation of the revolutionary movement. Duterte can be a deceptive enemy as well as a barefaced monster.

8. If Duterte gets ousted, what actions can we take to ensure systemic change? Like with Marcos’ ouster and Cory Aquino who ended up still serving the ruling classes, how do we ensure that the same thing doesn’t happen with Duterte and whoever succeeds him?

JMS: The Duterte tyranny can be ousted from power by a broad united front of anti-fascist forces just like the Marcos fascist dictatorship was overthrown in 1986. It would be better to have a president who follows the 1987 Constitution and assume the presidency as constitutional successor than a proven tyrant who is now in a hurry to constitutionalize and legalize what is unconstitutional and illegal in Duterte’s law of state terrorism and impose a full-blown fascist dictatorship on the people.

As in 1986 the revolutionary movement or the NPA in particular does not yet have the regular mobile forces in the form of army battalions and divisions to seize political power in Manila and other cities and overthrow the Duterte regime and entire ruling system. Thus, the quickest possible ouster of Duterte is through a combination of gigantic mass actions and the withdrawal of support from him by the anti-Duterte forces within the reactionary armed forces as in 1986.

It is still better to have a regime that tries to respect civil and political rights than a regime that is blatantly traitorous, tyrannical, murderous,plundering and deceptive. It is never a good choice to perpetuate in power a fascist dictator or tyrant like Marcos or Duterte just because it is not yet possible for the NPA to knock out or compel the surrender of enemy forces in Manila. The anti-fascist struggle in unity with the entire people will serve to strengthen the revolutionary movement but will not yet bring about the regular mobile forces to take the lead in seizing political power from all the reactionaries.

So long as the NPA does not yet have the regular mobile forces to knock out the strategic political and military holdouts of the ruling system, the revolutionary movement keeps on building the people’s democratic government in the countryside. In an all-round way, all revolutionary forces are strengthening themselves nationwide while the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system rots with the alternation of fascist and pseudo-democratic regimes because of the ever worsening crisis and internal contradictions among the rival factions of the reactionary classes.

The way to total victory of the people’s democratic revolution is to keep on building the strength and alliance of the workers and peasants, winning over the middle forces and taking advantage of the splits among the reactionaries. In case the Duterte regime and its successors manage to perpetuate themselves in power, the people will continue to suffer escalating conditions of oppression and exploitation and will tend to rely on the armed revolution for the overthrow not only the fascist regime but the entire rotten ruling system.

9. How can the Anti-Terror Law pave the way for Duterte’s term extension and/or Charter Change? What can we do to expose and stop this?

JMS: Duterte can use his law of state terrorism to silence or neutralize all opposition to it and to ensure that his super-majority in the Supreme Court will declare it as constitutional and lawful. It is difficult and unwise to depend completely on the Supreme Court because most justices are appointees of the Duterte gang and has been used to dismiss all the plunder cases against the big plunderers allied to Duterte. They are corrupt like most members of Congress.

But without having to wait for a Supreme Court in his favor, Duterte can move fast enough to constitutionalize and legalize what is unconstitutional and illegal in his state terrorism law under the 1987 Constitution. He can railroad charter change and rig the plebiscite for its ratification to render moot and academic the petitions filed by the most respected constitutional experts against the state terrorism law.

The charter amendments have been cooked in advance, mostly in secrecy. And there is now a campaign to drum up the semblance of support for charter change from the local officials under the manipulation of DILG secretary General Año who is a key figure in the civilian-military junta that Duterte has already created in the form of National Task Force-ELCAC and the Anti-Terrorism Council.

10.The Duterte administration is pushing for parliamentarism: can this be a window of opportunity for a genuine change or will this be a mere concentration of power?

JMS: Marcos used the pretext of opting for parliamentarism as pretext for charter change in order to pave the way for autocratic transitory provisions which allowed him to take executive actions to impose fascist dictatorship on the people. Duterte is using the same pretext of parliamentarism in connection with federalism.

The real purpose of charter change under Duterte is to centralize power in the hands of a fascist dictator instead of decentralizing it to the federated states and parliamentarism can be nothing more than a talking shop among political agents of the fascist dictator like the Interim Batasang Pambansa of Marcos.

11. It has been a pleasure Tito to have another episode of Tsikahan with you! Do you have a message to our viewers before we go?

JMS: I thank you and all our listeners for participating in this webinar. I hope that this webinar has served to clarify issues concerning the Philippines and Filipino people and to encourage them to do whatever they can to enable and support the Filipino people to fight and win in the struggle for national liberation and democracy. In the days and months to come, you must closely watch the developments in the Philippines and join the campaigns and activities launched by Anakbayan Europa, Migrante Europe and other patriotic and democratic organizations of Filipinos in Europe. Mabuhay kayo! Mabuhay tayong lahat! Mabuhay ang sambayanang Pilipino!

NDF/Sison: US-led wars and types of weapons in the era of modern imperialism

Propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (Jul 22, 2020): US-led wars and types of weapons in the era of modern imperialism

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson Emeritus, International League of Peoples’ Struggle

Since the advent of modern imperialism at the beginning of the 20th century, the monopoly capitalist states have engaged in wars of aggression or counterrevolution of varying scales and such inter-imperialist wars as World War I and II. For the purpose, they have made use of military and private-sector science and technology to research and develop both conventional and nonconventional weapons of mass destruction of various types, including chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological. As one consequence, top US defense corporations emerged bigger and globally dominant and profited from government contracts as well as got “free” technology from government-funded research and development.

Conventional weapons are those weapons deployed primarily for their explosive, kinetic or incendiary potential, especially against combatants in the battlefield. But their scope of destruction can also cause widespread death among the civilians at the same time, such as through carpet bombing, firebombs, and the use of white phosphorous, napalm and cluster bombs. Even if the intended main targets are military force and facilities, the nonconventional weapons of mass destruction have the potential to destroy in one moment entire civilian populations, the social infrastructure and the environment, and damage them in a lasting way.

Because of space constraint, I will give historical backgrounds very briefly and I will try to focus on the wars and weapons of mass destruction for which the imperialist states are responsible in recent times after the Cold War of the US and the now-defunct Soviet Union. The imperialist powers of today, including China, hold the biggest stockpiles of both conventional and nonconventional weapons of mass destruction.

The US stands as the supreme terrorist power in accordance with the Nuremberg principle for having produced both conventional and unconventional weapons of mass destruction and used them for blackmail, military blockade, and wars of aggression in ways similar to or even surpassing those used by Hitlerite Germany. In 2019, the US also remains the number one supplier in the global arms trade.

The US is heir to to the violence and brutality of British colonialism in the conquest of what is the US, which involved genocidal campaigns against the native population. The white settlers used the most advanced conventional weapons of the time and brought smallpox, the bubonic plague, cholera, influenza, chickenpox, scarlet fever, syphilis and other diseases to afflict the Indians. Then they used guns,whips and chains to enslave the African-Americans and to kill them at will with impunity. The ideologues of Nazi Germany admired the white supremacist domination of the Indians and the African slaves.

US imperialism has the distinction of being the first and so far the only power that has used the atomic bomb on the civilian populations of entire cities, such as those of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. It has also used chemical, bacteriological and entomological weapons against the peoples of Korea, Cuba and Vietnam and radiological weapons in the more recent wars of aggression under the fascist and neoconservative policy of full-spectrum dominance, which gives full play to US superiority in high-tech weaponry. Extensive US nuclear tests have also damaged the people’s health and environments in many Pacific islands and atolls, while medical tests in its clandestine laboratories have likewise damaged the health of numerous voluntary and involuntary human test subjects.

I shall not be distracted by the ideologues and propagandists of the US and other imperialist powers to ascribe the title of terrorist solely to individuals and small groups that use weapons of no comparison to the weapons of mass destruction in the hands of the imperialist terrorists. These super-terrorists circumvent and violate existing international conventions to produce these weapons and use them to threaten and attack their adversaries. Together with the Israeli Zionists, with whom the they share certain weapons of mass destruction, they are also the main suppliers of handy chemical weapons to Al-Nusra, Al Qaida, Salafi and Islamic State (Daesh) as their terrorist agents.
I. World Wars and Wars of Aggression or Counterrevolution of Varying Scales

By themselves, wars fought even without the use of nonconventional weapons have involved the massive destruction of civilian lives, social infrastructures and the environment, creating the conditions for mass hunger and epidemics to arise and spread without sufficient health personnel and facilities to treat the sick and prevent the spread of diseases. In the US-Filipino War from 1899 onwards, US imperialism was responsible for the death of more than 20 per cent or 1.5 million of the Philippine population by torture and gunfire as well as by the spread of contagious diseases due to food blockades, forced relocation of people, mass hunger, and lack of medical care.

In the course of World War I, both the Allies and Central Powers used chemical and biological weapons extensively in addition to conventional weapons. Mustard gas, phosgene gas, and other chemical agents were used to cause lung searing, blindness, death and maiming. The army of the Imperial German government inflicted anthrax and glanders on its enemy. The unchivalric use of such unconventional weapons would lead to the postwar Geneva Protocol of 1925 banning chemical weapons. Nevertheless, the massive disruptions in social life caused by World War I brought forth another horrendous but unintended result—the 1918 influenza pandemic that infected one-third of the world’s total population and killed more than 50 million people.

During World War II, the Allied Powers and Axis Powers had stockpiles of chemical weapons. But the latter were the ones which used chemical weapons in the battlefield and in gas chambers to exterminate Jews and other adversaries in large numbers. To the German, Italian, Japanese and other fascists belong the discredit for the untimely death of tens of millions of people in the countries that they invaded and occupied, as a result of conventional battlefield violence, organized reprisals against civilian resistance, the lack of food and medical care, mass hunger and the spread of diseases.

But on the side of the victorious Allied forces, the US and its European Allies can be taken to account for disproportionate bombing at the expense mainly of the civilian population in Germany. There is however the rationale of the war victors that the so-called strategic bombing campaign was absolutely required to cripple Germany’s cities and industrial belts which produced war materiel and that it was a just punishment for a population that adulated and supported fascist regimes and it was a necessary preemption of the local population from violently resisting the advance of the Allied Forces.

The US, taking advantage of the Allied Forces’ having quickly achieved air superiority in the Pacific theatre by 1943 and in the European theatre by 1944, was the most outstanding in the use of firebombs and carpet bombing of fascist-controlled cities in Europe and Asia. Even the bombs used by its allies had been manufactured mostly in the US. But the most unique and most unnecessary use of violence in the closing year of World I was the atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki despite the offer of surrender already made by Japan. The bombs totally destroyed the two cities and exposed all survivors to lethal radiation that later led to debilitating disease and birth defects.The US argues that the atom bombing was to break decisively the certain resistance of the population to the US invasionary forces and therefore to save the lives of the US troops and ensure their victory.

For a while, the US had a monopoly of nuclear weapons and could use them to blackmail other countries or even as implied umbrella over the deployment of US military bases and forces in various countries of the world. The Soviet Union broke the US nuclear monopoly in 1949. Its arsenal of nuclear bombs was enough to deter the US from using nuclear bombs when it launched wars against the Korean people from 1950 to 1953 and against the Vietnamese and all Indochinese peoples from the 1960s onwards.

The US used extensively and intensively conventional weapons as well as bacteriological and chemical weapons in wars of aggression in Korea and Indochina. For generations, surviving victims of the germ warfare in Korea and Agent Orange in Vietnam have been living witnesses to the dastardly imperialist attacks on the civilian population. In assisting puppet governments in armed counterrevolution in the Philippines and other countries, the US has supplied chemicals to poison wells and streams used by the guerrilla fighters as well as mosquitoes carrying the deadly falciparum strain of malaria to bite them.

Only after learning about the Soviet research in biological warfare did the US become amenable to the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention prohibiting offensive biological warfare. Despite the long precedence of the Geneva Protocol of 1925 against the use of chemical weapons under any circumstance, the imperialist powers agreed on the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) on the Prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and on their destruction only in 1993.

The Soviet Union reached strategic parity with the US in nuclear and other conventional weapons by thelate 1970s during the Brezhnev regime. Between the two superpowers, a situation of nuclear stalemate and balance of terror arose and resulted in a candid recognition of mutual annihilation in case of nuclear war. A series of countries also made their own nuclear weapons: the UK in 1952, France in 1960, China in 1964, India in 1974 and Pakistan shortly thereafter. Later, Israel and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would be known to have their own nuclear weapons. Several other countries are also known to have the technical capacity to build nuclear weapons.

In 1963 the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water (otherwise known as the Partial Test Ban Treaty) was signed by the US, the Soviet Union and the UK. In 1968 the two superpowers agreed to the establishment of the UN Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed in 1996 and would not come into force. The US and its allied imperialist powers are the most insistent on keeping their nuclear stockpiles and the privilege of using them for war. They are most resistant to complete nuclear disarmament.

In May 2020, US President Trump stated publicly his unilateral willingness for the US to restart nuclear weapons testing. The US is continuing also to upgrade its nuclear weapons and delivery systems using the most recent technological advances (related to, for instance, cyberspace integration, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and human-machine interface), while it develops as well new space weapons and related military hardware to be based in space, the Earth’s orbit or outermost atmosphere. Among the biggest profiteering defense corporations making nuclear weapons are Huntington Ingalls Industries (US$28.87 billion in contracts), Lockheed Martin (US$25.1779 billion), Honeywell International (US$16.5488 billion), General Dynamics (US$5.8303 billion), and Jacobs Engineering (US$5.3293 billion).

Conventional weapons, which are allowed by international law to be in the hands of the army, air force and navy of each nation-state, are presumed to be more subject to calibrated and precision targetting and thus less destructive to the lives of the civilian population. But with the use of higher technology these conventional weapons have been enhanced to inflict far more casualties among civilians and destruction of the social infrastructure than ever before.

Even in the absence of a global inter-imperialist war, US imperialism together with its allies has been responsible for the death of 25 to 30 million civilians since the end of World War II. The bulk of the victims perished in the imperialist wars of aggression and imperialist-backed counterrevolution from China and Korea, to Indochina, Indonesia and other countries of Southeast Asia, to South Asia and the Middle East, all the way to Africa and Latin America. And since the end of the Cold War, the US and its NATO allies have used a wide range of weapons to inflict the biggest destruction in the shortest period to the civilian population and social infrastructure as in Iraq, Yugoslavia, Libya and Syria.

They have added to more destructive conventional weapons such new weapons as white phosphorus bombs and depleted-uranium munitions which continue to harm the civilians even after the war. They have also used far more “efficient” delivery systems, like long range as well as intermediate and short-range cruise missiles, supersonic planes, stealth bombers, AWACS surveillance and control planes, tactical drones, and electronic gadgets to trigger planted explosives. While some may consider that they are efficient in hitting their military targets, these systems also target many more unsuspecting civilians in residential, business, and open space locations.

The US cynically dismisses the destruction of civilian lives and infrastructure as mere “collateral damage”, despite the explicit and repeated provision in Protocol I for states to avoid such civilian damage. The unspoken mindset among US imperialist policy planners is to utilize such “collateral damage” to send a warning to civilian populations not to support anti-US forces so as not to be treated as fair game.

Apart from civilian deaths, displacement is also a major direct measure of civilian suffering due to imperialist-instigated wars. According to official figures, the number of people uprooted from their ruined homes and communities steadily rose from 1950 onwards, such that by end-2014 there were 19.5 million cross-border refugees and 38 million internally displaced people. A big bulk of these are from Middle East countries torn apart by US-instigated wars.
II. Nonconventional Weapons of Mass Destruction

As in the research and development of conventional weapons, the imperialist states use science and technology to research and develop nonconventional weapons of mass destruction of various types, including chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological. They have taken advantage of the duality in the use of science and technology to serve contradictory purposes, benign and malign, in a sense like the ordinary knife can be used for preparing food in the kitchen or murdering someone.

Whenever they admit to researching and prototyping or manufacturing an instrument of mass destruction, supposedly more deadly to the civilian population than the conventional weapons, they invoke certain non-offensive purposes such as self-defense, deterrence or developing antidotes. These are the usual terms used for pre-empting, preconditioning and then circumventing laws and conventions that ban or control such weapons.

Among the imperialist powers, the US is supreme in the research, development, and use of chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological weapons of mass destruction. According to its own judgement, it collaborates with one or more of its imperialist allies in research, development and use of these nonconventional weapons through treaties of military alliance, joint scientific research programs, academic exchanges, and naturalization of foreign scientists and technologists as US citizens.

It is a matter of history that the US made use of American and foreign scientists and engineers in the Manhattan Project to research and produce the atom bomb. The US also took advantage of its leading role among victorious Allied powers at the end of World War II to recruit German scientists, some of them with Nazi ties, to jumpstart its own rocket technology. At the same time, the US did a parallel scheme to recruit Japanese germ-warfare scientists based in China under Unit 731, exempting them from war crimes prosecution.

In the entire course of the Cold War, the US sought to maintain supremacy in the production of nuclear weapons, especially after the Soviet Union broke the US nuclear monopoly. As a result of the nuclear stalemate, the US strategic planners headed by Kissinger conceived of the idea of producing tactical nukes, which are low-yield nuclear munitions such as short-range missiles and artillery shells designed for battlefield use. Tactical nukes were supposed to make US nuclear power more credible to peoples engaged in revolutionary struggles for national and social liberation and states which were also without any nuclear power but threatened by the US for asserting national independence and socialist aspirations.

As it turned out, the bulk of tactical nukes were deployed in NATO areas facing the former Soviet Union and other Warsaw Bloc countries, supposedly to enhance superiority in case of a shooting war. But then there could only be a short leap from the use of tactical nukes to strategic nukes. Thus, the US adjusted to the battlefield use of depleted-uranium-tipped bombs delivered by planes and artillery, which were used extensively in the Balkan wars and the Middle East under the neoconservative policy proclaimed by the US after the Cold War. The US has openly boasted of possessing and using depleted uranium and lasers as weapons although it denies using caesium which it has in abundant stock.

Under the false pretext of self-defense to circumvent the treaties banning the use of chemical and biological warfare, the US has always maintained research laboratories for developing and producing chemical and biological weapons in the US and abroad. It has been notorious in the widespread use of germ warfare in the Korean War and in the use of Agent Orange and other defoliant chemical agents in the Vietnam War.

The use of chemical weapons is attractive to the imperialists because of the low cost of producing them and also the because of instant effects on the fatal victims and the maimed survivors as well as the shock effect on the entire population, whether the weapons be napalm bombs, white phosphorous bombs and aerosol-delivered toxins or pathogens. The US has most recently used these as covert weapons in the hands of its own personnel and terrorist agents like the Islamic State (Daesh) in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, and then twists the story by blaming its adversary states as the culprits.

The use of biological weapons is attractive to the imperialists because they are the easiest to develop and produce and likewise they are easiest to ascribe to other states or small groups acting clandestinely as assets of the US, and to further smokescreen their deployment as naturally occurring or accident-caused “viral outbreaks”. Biological weapons are in the form of microbes as pathogens, mainly in the form of bacteria and viruses. The only restraint on the user of these weapons is the problem of ensuring the immunity of his own forces from the epidemic.

COVID-19 is the latest type of viral contagion, which has rapidly affected and alarmed the entire world because it is as easily transmitted as the common cold by people who are already infected but show no obvious symptoms for several or even many days. COVID-19 may likely cause severe illness or even death especially among people who are elderly or immuno-compromised. Based on the latest scientiific findings, mortality rates in most countries for people below 60 are comparable to or lower than seasonal influenza, and almost nil for people below 20.

It is also potentially far more deadly in poor countries with megacities or congested slum communities with poor nutrition, healthcare and hygiene systems. It is more easily transmitted in community and from country to country and it is potentially far more deadly than any previous epidemic. It has become pandemic and it is still running its course in infecting millions of people and killing hundreds of thousands on a world scale.

It remains to be seen whether it can be promptly checked by a vaccine and to what extent it can be compared to the so-called Spanish flu of 1916 to 1918 which killed at least 50 million up to 65 million people, according to various reports. There is a distinct trend among reactionary states of bloating or misdirecting the real dangers to public health and fanning a parallel pandemic of fear to further their own narrow interests.

The chief imperialist rivals of today are accusing each of other of being culpable for originating and spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19. China was the first to claim that the virus came from Fort Detrick in Maryland, USA and that the US military athletic delegation to the World Military Games brought it to Wuhan in October 2019. US President Donald Trump and his State Secretary Mike Pompeo have countered in public that the virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and spread in Wuhan and that China suppressed the information, thus allowing Chinese and foreign travellers to pick up virus in Wuhan and further spread it to many other countries.

Both sides claim to know the general state and pertinent details of biological research and development through previous exchanges of biological scientists and experts in four decades of close US-China cooperation as the main partners of neoliberal globalization. There are third parties that point to either country as the culprit or describe the COVID-19 virus as strictly zoonotic in origin, mutating from previous coronaviruses and probably resulting from the imperialist plunder of the environment and disturbing the ecological balance among organisms in their drastically decreased and degraded forest habitat.

Various scientific studies claim that 60 to 70 percent of recognized emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic or originating from forest-dwelling animals. COVID-19 is supposedly traceable to bats as the “ultimate incubator” for the virus because of their strong immune system which make them an excellent host to viral strains that mutate into pathogens that are highly infectious and deadly to humans. There is the claim that the virus leaped from the bats to humans who consumed bat soup or meat at the Wuhan wet market.

Meanwhile, due to the demand of Australia and an overwhelming number of other countries for an independent investigation of the origin and development of COVID-19, the recent assembly of the World Health Organization has resolved that an independent investigation is to be conducted. China and the US have agreed to the investigation. Nevertheless, a recently-revealed secret 15-page research dossier shared among the U.S.-led “Five Eyes” Security Alliance that includes Canada, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand claims that the virus was leaked from a Chinese biodefense lab and that China suppressed information on the spread of the virus since December 2019.

Whatever is the outcome of the aforesaid investigation called by the WHO, the US and other imperialist states will continue to engage in bio-warfare research and development under such pretexts as self-defense, deterrence and production of the antidotes. Bio-warfare and pandemics will continue to be potent weapons as the crisis of the world capitalist system worsens and the contradictions among the imperialist powers, those between the imperialist powers and the oppressed peoples and nations and those between the proletariat and the monopoly bourgeoisie in imperialist countries intensify.

Furthermore, to the extent that bio-warfare and pandemics may spin out of control and endanger the entire system especially in the imperialist homelands, monopoly capitalist blocs and financial oligarchies will attempt to further entrench and expand their interests in big infotech, biotech, nanotech, space tech and other high-tech industries as the growing core of their respective military-industrial blackholes—which in turn will further sharpen all the contradictions among the imperialist powers and within the entire world capitalist system..
III. Far-Reaching Consequences and Prospects

The COVID-19 pandemic and the various state-enforced lockdowns on vast areas of the world have a strong impact on the world capitalist system, on the imperialist countries and client-states and the relations of the ruling classes, the governments and broad masses of the people. The pandemic and the resulting lockdowns have telescoped so many basic contradictions and defects of global capitalism into one monster storm of global scale. They have disrupted the usual mode of existence of the ruling systems and the population, brought down drastically the level of production and unemployment, caused widespread hunger and disease and generated more social uncertainty and unrest.

It has aggravated what has become the chronic crisis of the world capitalist system which has continued to lurch from one level of economic stagnation and financial volatility to a deeperlevel since the financial crash of 2008. It has been moving in the direction of a plunge comparable to or even worse than the Great Depression from 1929 onwards, generating on a global scale anti-imperialist and democratic struggles as well as prodding the monopoly bourgeoisie and the reactionaries to adopt fascism and war as desperate ways to overcome their problems.

The imperialist states and their client states have used the COVID-19 pandemic as opportunity for taking and exercising emergency powers, imposing lockdowns, tightening control of the people and institutionalizing repressive measures. In various countries, the lockdowns have been used to suppress the right to free assembly and expression and to unleash harsher campaigns of military suppression where the oppressed peoples and nations are engaged in people’s war.

In most of the imperialist countries and in all the client-states, the people are actually deprived of community-based medical surveillance, the effective, prompt and free testing testing for COVID-19 and the timely and adequate treatment of the virus and other diseases in violation of the supposedly medical reason for the lockdown. In the course of the lockdown, the people are deprived of public transport and the means of livelihood. And yet they do not get the food and economic relief that have been promised to them by their governments. They suffer hunger and lack access to medical testing and treatment, and basic household supplies as well, especially in poor countries and impoverished or migrant communities.

They also have to cope with difficulties of dealing with sudden and imposed physical restrictions and social deprivation especially in Western countries where many elderly people live alone or in institutional homes. The lockdowns have created many instant refugee shelters for migrant workers and other stranded people who are unable to proceed or return home and left to their own devices to survive. The lockdowns have also drastically disrupted production and distribution chains, leading to shortages in many basic goods and services.

The extremely damaging consequences to the 99.9% of the world’s population of 7.5 billion of more than four decades of neoliberal economic policy are exposed. They include lack of savings for the overwhelming majority of the people to tide them over the crisis, the lack of job security and the prevalence of precarious means of livelihood and the scarcity of social services. The public health system is exposed as too thin or close to nil or skewed in favor of more lucrative fields of medicine, as COVID-19 cases mount and overload it. There are inadequate personal protection gears even for the doctors, nurses and other health workers, no sufficient bed spaces, face masks, respirators, medicine and disinfectants.

While the broad masses of the people suffer, the imperialist and reactionary states assure the big bourgeoisie of financial bailouts and stimulus packages to cover their temporary losses from the stoppage or sharp reduction of production and sales of their production. The ensuing global economic depression also provides a most golden opportunity for the biggest predatory corporations to buy at hefty discounts troubled companies with choice assets and further consolidate their already-awesome economic power. And of course the class exploiters, their political agents and law enforcers enjoy the expanded opportunities for vulture capitalism and corruption yielded by the lockdown as well as the prolonged vacation in the wide spaces of expensive homes and resorts.

The pandemic and its resultant lockdowns have encouraged a stronger fascist trend in many countries, such as imposing stricter police-state measures in the guise of tighter public-health surveillance against new outbreaks; population control measures especially directed against migrant labor and refugees as “carriers of new diseases”; and steamrolling unpopular legislation and budget priorities in the guise of resetting society into a “new normal.”

Both pandemic and lockdown have also produced deep cultural and ideological impacts. On one hand, the imperialists and other ruling classes have learned to weaponize the public’s fears of a “new, unknown and unseen enemy,” reminiscent of the post-9/11 hysteria against “terrorism” and the anticommunist hysteria of the Cold War era. On the other hand, they are now tightening their state-public or corporate-private hold on the digital or online channels of communication, mass media and entertainment which have proved to serve a critical social-control function and enjoyed massive expansion of user base in the last three months.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a health crisis and has seriously aggravated the crisis of the world capitalist system. It has exacerbated inter-imperialist rivalry, especially between the US and China. While the US remains as the No. 1 imperialist power especially with regard to military strength, Russia and China are formidable opponents and continue to develop their military capabilities.

The inter-imperialist rivalry is more fraught then ever with the danger of regional wars and even that of direct inter-imperialist war. As Lenin has pointed out, imperialism means war. There is no peace in the world while imperialist powers ride roughshod over the proletariat and the people and they themselves are driven to struggle for a redivision of the world and enlarge their respective shares of economic territory and client states.

Even while the lockdowns are in effect, the broad masses of the people and their organized anti-imperialist and democratic forces have found ways to discuss the implications and consequences of the situation at various levels, draw up conclusions on the most important issues, make collective decisions and carry out concerted actions to make protests and demands. They have electronic and non-electronic means of communications at the level of local communities, countries and the entire world. They have used noise barrages from their homes and yards to make protests and demands.

They have used various Internet platforms such as independent progressive news sites and blogs, the social media and videoconferencing to spell out their position on the pandemic, unjust lockdowns and other issues involving their rights and the violations of these by the rulers who are daily exposed as incompetent, corrupt and repressive.

While the closing of schools and workplaces created conditions for many wasted hours in forced isolation, it also created conditions for intense study, online group interaction, cultural creativity and technical innovation especially among the youth, intellectuals and professionals who lent their talents and time in the service of people and public facilities in dire need, including embattled health workers in the frontlines against COVID-19.

Even under strict lockdown rules or more relaxed quarantine rules, the people in various countries have engaged in mass protest action of varying scales. The masses of Hong Kong have gone back to the streets in great number to fight for democratic autonomy and other demands. Most remarkable of all the mass protests currently are those being held nationwide by African-Americans and the people of all races in the US against racism, police brutality and the unjust economic system as a result of the brazen murder of George Floyd by the police. Mass actions of solidarity have spread worldwide.

For sure, after the lockdowns are lifted and mass assemblies are permitted, the broad masses of the people will rise even more extensively and intensively against their oppressors and exploiters. Since last year, they have been rising up on a world scale to condemn and oppose the most predatory and brutal manifestations of modern imperialism, such as neoliberalism and fascism. Having come under more oppression and exploitation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, excessive lockdowns and states of emergency, they are impelled to undertake ever more resolute and militant acts of protest and demand for the solution of basic social, economic, and political problems.

We can be certain that the proletariat and people in the imperialist countries will carry out all possible forms of struggle to win the battle for democracy against imperialism and all reaction, prevail over the worsening crisis of capitalism, end the rule of unbridled neoliberal greed and fascism and the threat of inter-imperialist wars and to aim for the victory of socialism. The revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples for national and social liberation will also grow in strength and advance towards the goal of socialism. This is only way to end imperialism and all reaction in any country and in the whole world.

The imperialist and client-states reject and suppress the people’s demands for national liberation, democracy, and socialism. But by doing so, they unwittingly arouse the people to wage revolutionary resistance, which is the most effective counter to imperialism and war. They undermine their own position in using tyrannical power, state terrorism and armed counterrevolution, in getting enmeshed in inter-imperialist conflicts and unleashing wars of aggression.

As the crisis of the world capitalist system becomes worse, the imperialist and client-states will escalate the oppression and exploitation of the people, and further plunder and degrade the environment. It is therefore necessary to fight for social, racial, and environmental justice in the comprehensive people’s struggle for national liberation, democracy, all-round development and socialism. ###

NDF: A revolutionary and peace warrior’: Tributes pour in for NDFP’s Fidel Agcaoili

Propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (Jul 25, 2020): A revolutionary and peace warrior’: Tributes pour in for NDFP’s Fidel Agcaoili

Tributes are pouring in for National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Negotiating Panel chairperson Fidel Agcaoili hours after the group’s international information office confirmed his passing in Utrecht, The Netherlands due to pulmonary arterial rupture .

READ: BREAKING: NDFP’s Fidel Agcaoili dies

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said Filipino communists and revolutionaries feel a deep sense of sorrow and loss with Agcaoili’s passing.

“He was one of the most beloved and respected leaders of the Party, the NDFP and the Filipino people,” the CPP said in a statement.

“Over the past decades, from the underground movement, to inside prison, to international work and peace negotiations, [Agcaoili] untiringly struggled with the Filipino people and served the revolutionary movement and all the oppressed and exploited classes to achieve national and social liberation,” the group added.

The CPP said Agcaoili firmly upheld its principles at all times and he was imbued with the communist spirit to his last breath.

“The Party and all revolutionary forces, including all Red fighters of the New People’s Army, are in mourning,” the CPP said.

Agcaoili’s government counterpart, labor secretary Silvestre Bello III, told Kodao he joins all peace-loving Filipinos in grieving the passing of a revolutionary whose passion for peace is as ardent as his love for structural change on the land of his birth.

“Ka Fidel V. Agcaoili, my counterpart in the peace table in our efforts to try to end the decades-long armed conflict with the CPP-NPA (New People’s Army)-NDF, was a man of honor and conviction,” Bello said.

Bello added that Agcaoili was an instrument in making the mostly arduous tasks of talking peace smoother and a bit easier.

“It is just sad that Ka Fidel will no longer savor the lasting peace with justice that he was pursuing with passion. Goodbye to a dear friend, a revolutionary and a peace warrior,” Bello said.

Former Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista, who served as adviser to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) Negotiating Panel from 2016, said Agcaoili’s death is “sad news.”

“He was kind. He was flexible on the negotiating table yet strict and firm on principles,” Bautista, a Brigadier General of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Reserve Command, added.

Tributes from journalists

Journalists who covered the NDFP-GRP peace process only have kind words for Agcaoili.

“[The news] came as a shock. He was a generous news source, always eager to clarify issues with journalists. He will be missed,” GMA reporter Raffy Tima told Kodao.

Danny Buenafe (right) talks to (from left) Fidel Agcaoili, Jose Maria Sison and Luis Jalandoni. [Photo from Danny Buenafe]

Veteran ABS-CBN broadcaster Danny Buenafe said he had a good time covering the peace talks for more than three decades in large part because of Agcaoili.

“He was tough in taking a stand, but we all know he has a soft spot with journalists when requesting for interviews. Ka Fidel was kind and accessible with us media persons,” Buenafe said.

Buenafe, Europe-based for many years, added Agcaoili was probably the toughest among the so called three “Supremos” (top leaders), the two others being NDFP Negotiating Panel chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison and 20-year NDFP chief negotiator and Agcaoili’s direct predecessor Luis Jalandoni.

“Personally, I found Ka Fidel as the heart of the revolutionary struggle with his decisive character in the negotiating table. Ka Joma (Sison) provides the deeper intellectual discourse, and Ka Louie (Jalandoni) the fatherly approach with the soft touch. Ka Fidel provided a good balance that makes the NDF position solid,” Buenafe said.

The now retired ABS-CBN Europe Bureau Chief said he can never forget being fetched by Agcaoili and wife Rosario at the Utrecht Grand Central Station to attend a small birthday gathering for NDFP peace panel member Julie Sison at a public park several years ago.

“We will all miss him. Rest in peace, Ka Fidel,” Buenafe said.

Friends grieve

Human rights lawyer Ma. Sol Taule said Agcaoili was among the rights defenders she looked up to.

“We recognize and value his unrelenting efforts for a just and lasting peace. He (was) the boomer we all aspire to be,” Taule wrote on Facebook.

Distant relative and retired University of the Philippines professor Aurelio Solver Agcaoili for his part said Agcaoili’s death is a loss to the Filipino people.

“But we gained something [in his passing]: The thought and the resolve to do things right for our suffering people,” he told Kodao.

The CPP said it will announce the day for mourning, giving honor, and remembering Agcaoili whose remains will be flown to the Philippines in accordance with the wishes of his family.

“In behalf of the entire Philippine revolutionary movement, the (CPP) extends deep sympathies to the wife and children of Ka Fidel V. Agcaoili, chairperson of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP),” the CPP said. (Raymund B. Villanueva)

NDF: Fidel Agcaoili, Peacemaker

Propaganda article posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (Jul 25, 2020): Fidel Agcaoili, Peacemaker (By Tonyo Cruz)

Many are in shock and in mourning over the sudden death of Utrecht-based Fidel Agcaoili, chief negotiator of communist rebels in peace negotiations with the government.

Who is this man who, despite the distance and the unremitting slander against the movement he represents, continued to command such strong feelings of admiration?

Photo from Sinag Haraya

Fidel Agcaoili, 75, was perhaps best known as the longest-held political prisoner of the Marcos dictatorship. Arrested and detained in 1974 he was released only in 1985.

A decision of the Supreme Court gives us a look into what he had to endure: “Records reveal that Agcaoili was arrested on May 12, 1974 at Balicon Subdivision, Calasiao, Pangasinan, by elements of 5th Constabulary Security Unit (CSU) by virtue of ASSO No. 3225.”

A military tribunal, not a civilian court, tried Agcaoili. Although he had no choice, he challenged the charges, and he endured the long incarceration, to the point that he was serving way beyond the punishment meted against him by the military tribunal.

“The main resolution faithfully depicts the ordeal and travails of citizens under the deposed regime, whereby notwithstanding the lifting of martial law under Proclamation No. 2045 dated January 17, 1981, any person could be ordered detained indefinitely without charges with the issuance by the then president of a Presidential Commitment Order (PCO) or its successor, the Preventive Detention Action (PDA), and yet have no recourse to the courts with the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus for alleged offenses against national security, which effectively stifled the basic constitutional rights and freedoms of our people,” said the court.

That was just a portion of what Agcaoili went through for his political commitment to challenge the Marcos dictatorship.

In a paper published in 1974 by the United States Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars, Ninotchka Rosca wrote about how the military and police arrested, detained, and tortured activists and critics of the dictatorship. 


According to Rosca: “Tactical interrogation includes the following: 1) holding the prisoner incommunicado for weeks or months, depending on the whims of the officers involved as well as the response of the individual to methods of interrogation; and 2) the dreaded “methods of interrogation.” The latter includes physical torture (beatings, plucking out the eyebrows hair and pubic hair one by one, pistol whippings, rifle butt blows, karate chops, kicks, burning of the flesh with cigarette butts and matches, burning the genitals of males with lighters), use of electric gadgets (electrodes attached to the genitals and nipples through which electric current is passed), and the use of drugs (the ISAF specializes in injections of sodium pentothal) without medical supervision. In the latter case, one old man appeared to have been given an overdose while inside the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) compound, as a result of which he was in stupor for three days. I have been told of cases where the minds of prisoners just disintegrated because of repeated doses of drugs given by the military; of those, however, I have no personal knowledge and would therefore limit myself to the case of this old man.”

Rosca added: “Recently, the Constabulary Security Unit put into practice a new form of torture: the arrested persons are given injections of morphine to force them into addiction and the drug is later withheld, in the hope that the anguish of withdrawal would force the prisoner into giving information. Receiving this kind of treatment to this time is Fidel Agcaoili, son of a prominent family in the Philippines and a graduate of an American university.”

Upon his release in 1985, Agcaoili could’ve led a quieter and more peaceful life, knowing fully well the unbearable costs to life and limb of remaining politically committed.

Instead, Agcaoili helped form SELDA, the organization of former political detainees together. Don Chino Roces, Juliet de Lima Sison, Romeo Candazo, former Senator Francisco Rodrigo, lawyer Jose Mari Velez, Benjamin Guingona, and Navy Capt. Danilo Vizmanos.

Accounts say the new democratic regime did not welcome it, but SELDA courageously filed a landmark human rights class-action suit against the Marcoses in the US.

Today, we owe Agcaoili and the SELDA co-founders a huge debt for their singular achievement of taking steps to legally holding the Marcoses accountable for human rights atrocities. Docketed as “Hilao vs Marcos,” the class-suit successfully proved atrocities of the Marcos dictatorship. The Hilao in the case title refers to the mother of and the case of PLM campus journalist and student leader Liliosa Hilao, who became the first political detainee to die while in the custody of the martial regime.

The SELDA case became basis for the law compensating victims of the dictatorship, and established in fact and in law the barbarities committed by Ferdinand Marcos during his reign of terror and plunder.

Agcaoili’s political commitment to democracy found him advocating the Left’s participation in the 1987 elections: He served as secretary-general of Partido ng Bayan (PnB). But at the time, the system still proved to be too insecure and unready for radical and progressive politics. Many PnB candidates, supporters, and officials were assassinated, while its offices were bombed. Right-wing forces would later admit being behind the attacks on PnB.

In 1992, Agcaoili reappeared as member of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines negotiating panel in peace talks with the Philippine government. 

GRP-NDFP first round of talks in Oslo 2016 / JonB

The talks produced more than 10 agreements, including the The Hague Joint Declaration, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees, and the first substantive agreement, the the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.

Agcaoili took over as NDFP’s chief negotiator in October, 2016, and led the rebels’ peace overtures with the new president.

As chief negotiator, Agcaoili personally met with Rodrigo Duterte. He pushed for the negotiation and signing of agreements on social and economic reforms, and political and constitutional reforms: reforms supported and demanded by a broad cross-section of the public. The panel even agreed to an extraordinary ceasefire to help propel the peace talks, and broached the idea of national united front against China. The President however made starkly different choices, putting the talks in limbo.

Up until the end, Agcaoili was living a simple, frugal life in Utrecht. Hours before his passing, he was still posting and sharing news and commentary on Facebook about developments in the country he loved and served as a most courageous and visionary peacemaker and revolutionary leader. ###

Manila Bulletin, July 25, 2020

CPP: Nagluluksa ang buong rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa pagpanaw ni Kasamang Fidel V. Agcaoili

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 24, 2020): Nagluluksa ang buong rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa pagpanaw ni Kasamang Fidel V. Agcaoili

JULY 24, 2020

Sampu ng buong rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa Pilipinas, ipinaaabot ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) ang marubdob na pakikiramay sa asawa at mga anak ni Kasamang Fidel V. Agcaoili, pinuno ng Negotiating Panel ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

Pumanaw kahapon si Ka Fidel sa Utrecht, The Netherlands, sa edad na 75.

Malalim na kalungkutan at pagkawala ang nadarama ng mga komunista at rebolusyonaryong Pilipino sa pagpanaw ni Ka Fidel. Isa siya sa pinakamamahal at pinakakapita-pitagang pinuno ng Partido, ng NDFP at sambayanang Pilipino.

Sa nagdaang limang dekada, mula sa kilusang lihim, sa bilangguan, sa larangang internasyunal at usapang pangkapayapan, si Ka Fidel ay walang humpay na nakibaka at nagsilbi sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan, sa lahat ng api at pinagsasamantalahang uri at sektor, para kamtin ang pambansa at panlipunang paglaya.

Hindi binitawan ni Ka Fidel kahit isang saglit ang mga prinsipyo ng Partido. Lipos siya ng diwang komunista hanggang sa kanyang huling hininga.

Nagluluksa ang buong Partido, lahat ng rebolusyonaryong pwersa, kabilang ang mga Pulang mandirigma ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan sa buong bansa.

Sa mga darating na araw, iaanunsyo ng Partido ang araw ng pagluluksa, pagkilala at pag-alaala kay Ka Fidel.

CPP/NDF-PKM: PKM-Negros: Kolektibo nga pangimbabawan ang tiempo muerto!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 24, 2020): PKM-Negros: Kolektibo nga pangimbabawan ang tiempo muerto!

JULY 24, 2020

Mabaskog nga ginapakamalaut sang Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magsasaka (PKM-Negros) ang nagabaskog nga militarista kag burukratiko nga tikang sang reaksyunaryo nga estado nga dugang naglubong sa malapad nga hanay sang mangunguma kag mamumugon sa kampo sa tuman nga gutom kag kaimulon nga nagresulta sa temprano pa nga pagtupa sang tuigan nga tiempo muerto ukon tigkiriwi nga mas ginpalala bunga sang inutil, uyaya kag palyado nga pag-atubang sini sa krisis nga dala sang Covid-19 nga pandemya.

Lubos nga naglala ang kondisyon sang pangabuhi-an sang sahing mangunguma kag mamumugon sa tubo sa diin nadislokar sa ila pangabuhi-an, padayon nga nahigot sa limos nga sweldo, wala sang benepisyo, dalagko nga utang kag biktima sang pagdingut sa serbisyo pampubliko bangud sa pagpatuman sang kontra-pumuluyo kag neoliberal nga polisiya nga gina-imposar sang tuta nga gobyerno ni Duterte kag nagahari nga sahi sang sakon kag poderoso nga mga agalon may duta, burukrata kapitalista kag dalagko nga burgesya komprador.

Sa pihak nga ginakabig bilang “sugar bowl” ang isla sang Negros sa diin halos 50% ang ginabahin sa industriya sang kalamay sa pungsod, nalansang gihapon sa P150-P200 ang sweldo sa madamu nga mga hasyenda sa pihak sang P240 ang minimum nga sweldo nga gintalana sang reaksyunaryo nga estado. Mayorya sang kadutaan sa Isla ang ginatamnan sang tubo sa diin nasandig ang pangabuhi-an sang masobra 350,000 ka mangunguma kag mamumugon sa kampo nga nag-ulipon sa ila sang ginatos ka tuig tuga sang pyudal kag malapyudal nga pagpamigos kag pagpanghimulos.

Apang ang malapad nga kadutaan sa isla ang ginamonopolyo lamang sang pipila ka mga despotiko kag sakon nga nga mga agalon mayduta kag hasyendero nga amu man mismo ang nagapungko sa poder. Naga-gamit sang sari-sari nga porma sang malapyudal kag pasista nga pamaagi agud padayon ang paghugakom kag pagkontrolar sini sa ila mga kamot. Idugang pa ang peke nga programa sa duta sang estado, inutil kag ido-ido nga ahensya kaangay sang DAR, DA, DOLE kag iban pa, labaw sa tanan ang pag gamit sang AFP, PNP kag paramilitar nga nagaserbi nila nga goons kag armado agud magpabilin ang ekonomiko kag politikal nga gahum sa nagahari nga sahi.

Gani nagapabilin nga pito sa pulo ka mangunguma ang wala sang kaugalingon nga duta sa diin naga-eksperyensya sang malala nga gutom kag kawad-on ilabi na sa panahon nga magsira ang mga trabaho sa hasyenda ukon tigkiriwi. Sa sulod sang tatlo tubtob apat ka bulan (Mayo-Septyembre), wala gid sang trabaho kag wala sang kita ang mga mamumugon sa kampo kag agrikultura. Gani madamu sa ila ang nagakadto sa kasyudaran agud mangita sang remedyo heneral nga palangitan-an apang padayon gihapon sila nga biktima sang tuman ka manubo nga sweldo kag kontrakwal nga kina-iya sang trabaho.

Mas ginpalala sang pandemya ang tuigan nga kalamidad nga gina-atubang sang mga mangunguma kag mamumugon agrikultural sa panahon sang tiempo muerto kapin pa nga wala sang konkreto nga solusyon medikal ang inutil nga estado bangud ang prayoridad sini amu ang korapsyon, militarista nga lockdown, mapintas nga mga laye kag patakaran kag pasismo ang ila sabat sa mass testing kag ayuda nga demanda sang malapad nga masang pigos. Indi na magnubo sa 90 ka mga mangunguma kag lider masa diri sa isla ang biktima sang extrahudisyal nga pagpamatay tuga sang todo larga nga gyera kag kontra-insurhensya nga kampanya sang mabangis nga rehimen.

Ginbuyagyag sang Covid-19 nga pandemya ang pagkaberdugo kag kontra-mangunguma nga rehimen ni Duterte sa pagsolbar sa krisis ikaayong lawas kag sosyo-ekonomiko sa pungsod. Nagapadayon nga atrasado ang aton agrikultura, wala sang kaugalingon nga industriya, ginapadalagan sa dumulu-ong nga utang, nasandig sa import kag nakadepende sa eksport ang ekonomiya sang pungsod.

Gani upod sa minilyon nga hanay sang mangunguma kag mamumugon agrikultural, nagapakig-isa ang PKM-Negros sa pagdemanda sa pagpasaka sang sweldo, nagakadapat nga suporta pangkonsumo kag ayuda ilabi na sa panahon sang tigkiriwi. Kadungan diri ang pagduso kag paglunsar sang sari-sari nga porma sang kontra-pyudal, kontra-imperyalista kag kontra-pasista nga kampanya agud dugmukon ang tiraniko nga paghari sang rehimen Duterte.

Pataason ang militansya kag porma sang paghimakas sa pagduso sang rebolusyon agraryo agud amat-amat nga maagaw ang base sang ekonomiko nga gahum sang mga despotiko nga agalon mayduta kag mapundar ang organo sang gahum pampulitika sa kaumhan. Sa panahon sa subong sa diin pasismo kag gutom ang sabat sang reaksyunaryo nga estado, makatarungan lamang nga isulong ang pungsodnon demokratiko nga rebolusyon nga nagabitbit sang programa para sa pagpatuman sang matuod nga reporma sa duta kag pungsodnon nga industriyalisasyon. Nagakadapat lamang nga mag-isa kita kag tipunon ang aton kusog agud tapuson kag pasabton ang nagahuyango na nga gobyerno sang traydor, korap, pabaya kag berdugo nga rehimen US-Duterte! ###

CPP: Graphics | The entire revolutionary movement mourns loss of Ka Fidel V. Agcaoili

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 24, 2020): Graphics | The entire revolutionary movement mourns loss of Ka Fidel V. Agcaoili

JULY 24, 2020

Gallery Photo Quotes

Ka Fidel was one of the most beloved and respected leaders of the Party, the NDFP and the Filipino people.

READ | The entire revolutionary movement mourns loss of Ka Fidel V. Agcaoili

CPP/Sison: In honor of Ka Fidel Agcaoili a great Filipino patriot and communist fighter

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 24, 2020): In honor of Ka Fidel Agcaoili a great Filipino patriot and communist fighter


JULY 24, 2020

As Founding Chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and Chief Political Consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and on behalf of my family, I express the deepest grief over the unexpected demise of Ka Fidel Agcaoili and convey sincerest condolences to his widow and children, all his comrades, relatives and friends.

Ka Fidel has been my close comrade since the early 1960s when he joined the Student Cultural Association of the University of the Philippines, the Kabataang Makabayan and the Communist Party of the Philippines. We advanced together in our development ideologically, politically and organizationally in pursuit of the people’s democratic revolution in the context of the world proletarian revolution.

Ka Fidel deserves to be honored as a great Filipino patriot and outstanding communist fighter even only on the basis of what is publicly known about him. He has accomplished far more than this in the service of the Filipino people and their revolutionary movement within the context of the epochal struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie, a struggle of the oppressed and exploited for a fundamentally new and better world than one dominated by imperialism and all kinds of reaction.

He became a revolutionary without ever boasting or feeling sorry that he had sacrificed so much for the people and the revolution.. He came from an upper class family and could have easily attained an endless series of high positions in the ruling system. But he chose to side with the people, especially the toiling masses of workers and peasants, in their just revolutionary struggle for national and social liberation.

He was outraged by the unjust semicolonial and semifeudal system and was determined to contribute what he could to develop the revolutionary movement for overthrowing it and establishing a people’s democratic state under the leadership of the proletariat. He was never afraid of the tremendous odds and the risks to life, limb and liberty. He did not expect any kind of material reward for all his work and sacrifices.

When he was sent out by his parents to study in the US and keep him away from social activism in the UP, he joined the mass protests in California and soon he was back in the Philippines on time for the preparations and establishment of the Kabataang Makabayan in 1964.

Even while he was a high executive of his family’s insurance company, he helped organize studies and produce publications and performed the lowly tasks that had to be undertaken in the underground in support of the mass movement and in the establishment and development of the CPP. He also carried out important missions that required a high level of knowledge and negotiating skills in dealing with domestic allies and with fraternal parties abroad. He put facilities and connections available to someone of his class origin in the service of the people and the revolution.

Anywhere the Communist Party of the Philippines had its headquarters, be it in Central Luzon or Northern Luzon, he attended the meetings of leading organs in order to participate in deliberations and make reports on matters he was responsible for and made recommendations on what policies and courses of action to take. He shared with his comrades all the discomfort and risks of travelling to and staying in rural huts and forest camps.

It was sometime in 1972 that it became untenable for Ka Fidel to work aboveground and he had to go underground. He and his wife with their two young children were on the manhunt list of the enemy. They had to face a far higher level of discomfort and risks than ever before. In 1974 he and his wife Chit were arrested, together with their two small children Eric and Joseph. He was subjected to severe physical and mental torture by the minions of the Marcos fascist dictatorship.

He became the political prisoner with the longest duration of detention (more than 10 years) during the Marcos fascist regime and earned the deep respect of many other political prisoners in the common struggle against the autocratic regime. He over served the penalty for the political offense of rebellion. And he was never tempted to take advantage of the fact that his father was a classmate and friend of Marcos at the UP College of Law to ask for much earlier release from prison.

He was released from prison as a result of his dropping the appeal of his unlawful conviction for rebellion and asserting that he had even overserved the sentence. He proved to be a steadfast proletarian revolutionary fighter with an unyielding moral stamina and complete dedication to the revolutionary cause of the people.

He helped to establish and became Chairperson of Samahan ng Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA)to work hard for the release of all political prisoners. He also helped organize Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) in 1985 and became its Executive Director.

After the overthrow of Marcos in 1986, Ka Fidel and I worked together in laying the ground for peace negotiations upon the request of the Aquino regime through Executive Secretary Joker Arroyo. But later on Aquino would scale down the projected peace negotiations to ceasefire negotiations as prelude to setting the agenda for peace negotiations.

Ka Fidel and I were in the Preparatory Committee which established the Partido ng Bayan (PngB) on August 30, 1986. In November 1986, the first PngB Chairman Ka Rolando Olalia and his driver Ka Leonor Alay-ay were kidnapped and murdered by ultra-reactionary elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines under Oplan God Save the Queen.

Ka Fidel had the high sense of duty and courage to take the place of Ka Lando as PngB Chairman and further organize the Partido ng Bayan for the 1987 senatorial elections. He was also uncowed by the related assassination of BAYAN secretary general Lean Alejandro and the coup and murder plans of the Enrile-RAM faction of the AFP.

Conditions became untenable for Ka Fidel to stay in Manila when he was targetted for arrest and the Aquino and Enrile-RAM factions were competing to attack the patriotic and democratic political forces. Thus, he accepted employment in a Spanish nongovernmental organization, Instituto de Estudios Políticos para América Latina y Africa (IEPALA) in 1988.

Subsequently, he joined exploratory talks for the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations since 1989 when President Cory Aquino sent Rep. Jose Yap to The Netherlands. He became the Vice Chairperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel when the GRP and NDFP adopted the The Hague Joint Declaration as the framework for the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

He played a key role in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations and in the drafting and finalization of major agreements, especially the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, the first item in the substantive agenda of the negotiations signed by the GRP and NDFP Negotiating Panels in 1998, with him as Chairperson of the Reciprocal Working Committee of the NDFP and then Justice Secretary Silvestre Bello as Chairperson of the RWC of the GRP. He co-chaired the GRP-NDFP JMC (Joint Monitoring Committee) upon its formation in 2004.

In connection with the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, Ka Fidel like Ka Luis Jalandoni, then Chairperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, had the privilege of going to the Philippines to consult with Philippine presidents, from Estrada to Duterte. It was Ka Fidel who met Duterte as often as six times in 2016 and 2017. Ka Louie turned over the position of Chairperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel to Ka Fidel in 2017.

Since he became a member of the Central Committee of the CPP in 1970, Ka Fidel successfully carried out missions of the highest importance in representation of the highest organs of either the CPP or the NDFP in relations of practical cooperation with major political forces in the Philippines and with fraternal parties and revolutionary movements abroad.

Ka Fidel had the good fortune to become well-informed about the Second National Congress of the CPP and to see with his own eyes the high level of achievement that the revolutionary movement had reached nationwide when he traveled to the Philippines in 2016 and 2017 and visited a number of major guerrilla fronts in connection with the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. He saw the vibrant strength of the CPP, the NPA, the revolutionary mass organizations and the people’s democratic government in meetings and in activities among the people.

Ka Fidel easily endeared himself to comrades and allies because he was really modest and had an infectious sense of humor even if at certain times he looked stern. He explained complex issues patiently and persuasively to comrades and friends and dished out an alternation of serious talk and a certain amount of jokes and light banter. He firmly held on to revolutionary principles and explained complex issues patiently and persuasively to comrades and friends. He gave his opinions frankly. And he welcomed objections, corrections and additions to his explanations.

He never flaunted his high level of knowledge. He was an avid reader and observer of national and global events and freely shared his views with others. His amiable characteristics will be sorely missed by many comrades and friends who knew him at close quarters and loved him.

There are more achievements of Ka Fidel that other comrades and allies in various sectors of the national democratic movement as well as in the armed revolutionary movement can narrate in memorial meetings in his honor. I yield to their direct knowledge and more detailed narratives. May all the testimonies be put together and his biography be written in order to inspire this generation and further generations of Filipinos to follow his patriotic and revolutionary example.

The revolutionary spirit, ideas and deeds of Ka Fidel are now flowing in the growing body and blood of the the people’s struggle for national and social liberation and for a socialist future. All the efforts and sacrifices that he has made in his lifetime will live after him in the hearts and minds and collective will and actions of the people in the people’s democratic revolution and in the subsequent socialist revolution.

Revolutionaries never die, they continue to live through their revolutionary successors. Let us turn our grief to revolutionary courage. Let us celebrate the revolutionary achievements of Ka Fidel, honor him for these and emulate his example in serving the people and the revolution.

Long live the memory of Ka Fidel Agcaoili!
Celebrate his spirit, ideas and deeds as a Filipino patriot and communist fighter!
Long live the Filipino people and the Philippine revolution

CPP: The entire revolutionary movement mourns loss of Ka Fidel V. Agcaoili

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 24, 2020): The entire revolutionary movement mourns loss of Ka Fidel V. Agcaoili

JULY 24, 2020

In behalf of the entire Philippine revolutionary movement, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) extends deep sympathies to the wife and children of Ka Fidel V. Agcaoili, chairperson of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

Ka Fidel, 75, died yesterday in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Filipino communists and revolutionaries feel a deep sense of sorrow and loss with Ka Fidel’s passing. He was one of the most beloved and respected leaders of the Party, the NDFP and the Filipino people.

Over the past decades, from the underground movement, to inside prison, to international work and peace negotiations, Ka Fidel untiringly struggled with the Filipino people and served the revolutionary movement and all the oppressed and exploited classes to achieve national and social liberation.

At all times, Ka Fidel firmly upheld the principles of the Party. He was imbued with the communist spirit to his last breath.

The Party and all revolutionary forces, including all Red fighters of the New People’s Army, are in mourning.

In the coming days, the Party will announce the day for mourning, giving honor, and remembering Ka Fidel.

NPA medic yields to Davao de Oro guv

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 25, 2020): NPA medic yields to Davao de Oro guv (By Michael Uy)

DAVAO DE ORO, July 24 (PIA) - “Kapoy na kaayo!”

Tired and exhausted of the communist movement, a medic of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered on Monday to Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy at the provincial capitol.

The medic, 31, identified himself as a resident of Barangay Tibal-og, Sto. Tomas in the province of Davao del Norte, and is a fulltime NPA member serving Guerilla Front 2 (GF2), Sub-Regional Committee 2, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).

In an interview, the medic emphasized that he can no longer endure the hardships in being a part of the movement.

“Perteng paita jud akong kahimtang. Sa lima ka tuig nakong paglihok, naga agwanta lang gyud ko. Kapoy na kaayo, gutom pa gyud kaayo. Wala na mi tarong kaon sa taas.” (Our plight is so bitter in my five years in the movement, I just endured it, I’m so tired, I am so hungry, we have no proper meals in the mountains)

Unknown to his comrades, the medic has long planned to escape; but it was only when he was allowed to bath alone in a forested stream that he took the chance to run away from the mountains.

During his submission, the medic brought his firearm, a 5.56mm Galil loaded with a magazine of live ammos and surrendered it to the governor, which was then turned over immediately to the Lieutenant Colonel Sonny Gonzales, commander of the 71st Infantry Battalion (71IB).

Governor Uy stressed that the provincial government is always ready and willing to welcome fellow Filipinos, who were deceived by wrong ideologies and are now trusting again the government of the Republic.

“Mahimut-anon ako nga naka-amgo ka na nga walay maayong padulngan ang imong pag apil sa teroristang NPA. Andam ako og ang provincial government sa Davao de Oro nga mutabang sa mga susama nimo nga nahisalaag. Subay lang unya ta sa proseso,” ( I hope you realized that joining the NPA terrorists will lead you nowhere, I and the provincial government of Davao del Oro is ready to help, those like you that were led astray, lets first follow the process) the governor said.

LTC Gonzales also affirmed the government’s commitment to rebels who choose to lay down their arms and lie a normal and peaceful lives, pointing out that peaceful means are better resolutions than armed struggle.

“Fortunate those who summoned their courage like Daryo, in laying down his arms and surrender. He will now live a peaceful life free from worries of being busted by the authorities,” he added.

Awaiting his enrollment to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP), the medic will stay in the custody of the 71IB for custodial debriefing.

The 71IB in coordination with the Oplan Pagbabago Provincial Task Force To End Local Communist Armed Conflict has recently facilitated the distribution of ECLIP benefits to 16 former rebels, which include cash and livelihood assistance. (PIA11, Michael Uy with reports from 71IB)